The Legitimate Reason For Rejecting Christ

There are two ways to reject Jesus Christ.  The first is verbal and direct — to openly declare your disbelief.  The second way is more subtle — to reject Christ by the way you live your life, even though you may still verbally claim to believe in Him.

There are many reasons people give for rejecting Jesus.  Here are a few of them.

1)  People who claim to be Christians don’t live like it.  (Gandhi said:  “I like your Christ, I do not like your Christians.  Your Christians are so unlike your Christ.”)

2)  The church has done and sponsored a lot of evil, persecution, and war during its existence.

3)  You can’t scientifically prove that Jesus is God and/or that God even exists.

4)  I want to do my own thing, follow my cravings, and Jesus would get in my way.

5)  I am not intellectually convinced that Jesus is who He is claimed to be.

6)  The historical evidence is not good enough for me.

Are any of these legitimate reasons?  Numbers 1 and 2 reject Jesus because of what some of His self-proclaimed followers have done.  But that doesn’t have anything to do with who Jesus is or what He is like.

Number 3 overlooks the fact that Jesus is now with us as the Holy Spirit.  The spiritual world cannot be disproven by materialistic science.

Number 4 is to put your feelings and desires above finding and following truth.

Number 5 is to put understanding and reasoning above truth.  For example, it is like saying, because I don’t intellectually understand the concept electricity I refuse to use it in my home.

Number 6 is usually not completely honest.  The historical evidence for Jesus is as strong or stronger than the historical evidence for many other people who we believe in without doubt.

So is there a legitimate reason for rejecting Christ?  I believe there is.

If you sincerely seek to know the truth about Jesus and to do what He says by reading through the New Testament with an open mind and heart; and if you sincerely try to live by its principles in your life, yet nothing begins to change you and to convince you of Christ’s reality, then I believe you have a legitimate reason to reject Him.

Let me repeat:  If you give Him an honest opportunity and Jesus doesn’t prove Himself to you, then I believe you have a legitimate reason for rejecting Him.  Jesus proved Himself to me!

Also, if we give Christ the opportunity, He will prove Himself in church meetings.  Read about how to have a Jesus demonstration Sunday.

 

 

 

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About Steve Simms

I like to look and think outside the box. I have written two books: Mindrobics: How To Be Happy For The Rest Of Your Life and Your Sperm Won--Experiencing Your Value As A Championship Human Being. In college I encountered Jesus Christ and I have been passionate about trying to get to know Him better ever since. My wife and I lead a non-traditional church in Nashville based on open participation and Spirit-led sharing. We long to see the power and passion of the early church come to life in our time.
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10 Responses to The Legitimate Reason For Rejecting Christ

  1. Hi Steve,

    There a couple of things that prima facie seem to be mistaken about this post:

    1)If someone is sincere and yet unregenerate they are going to remain unregenerate. All of the sincerity in the world will not overcome the sinners will which is bound to sin and therefore dead to spiritual things (cf. Eph. 2:1)God’s plan for election does not take into account the reprobates desires. Furthermore, according to your post if the sinner has a legitimate right to reject Jesus based on the lack of empirical and/or subjective experience their damnation becomes God’s fault and is at least and implicit assertion that God is sinful. (which is a woeful impugning of God’s character.

    2) This is a very man centered theological construct-one that does not follow from scripture. The bible says in Romans 1:18-25 that man knows that there is a God and yet because of his unrighteousness supresses this knowledge.

    I would be interested in your response.

    Regards,

    BBG.

  2. 1. Shouldn’t an all powerful god be somewhat responsible for what people have done in his name? Shouldn’t he have at least some influence?

    2. Surely an all powerful god can prevent evil from being done in his name. At the very least, can’t he explicitly distance himself from those acts? Either god has horrible PR staff, or he doesn’t exist.

    3. Does god or Jesus interact with the world, perhaps through prayer, which the bible says he does? Then we can prove or disprove that interaction with the world. If he doesn’t, first why did he say that he does, and second why should that matter? I can tell you that there is an invisible dragon in my garage, and you can’t prove it doesn’t exist. That doesn’t mean that the dragon really does exist.

    4. If we knew that Jesus was real, we would have to be insane to reject him just for kicks. The god of the bible is cruel and vindictive, and we wouldn’t want to be his next victim. Since he doesn’t exist, we don’t have to live in fear of him.

    5. Well, for one thing, he constantly contradicts himself.

    6. There is way more evidence for Julius Ceasar than Jesus, and even then we don’t believe the claim that many of the writings about him make, namely that he was a god. George Washington is a very well documented figure, but we don’t believe the story about the cherry tree as fact, because it has all the earmarks of legend. Same with Jesus. Even if you accept the few scattered extra biblical accounts that fleetingly mention a guy named Jesus as evidence for the biblical Jesus, it still does nothing to confirm that he was a god.

    I think you’ve made a list of 5 good reasons for disbelief, and one bad one. Number 4 is bad because nobody is going to choose to reject Jesus for that reason, unless they also already believe in him.

    • HAH- (apropos btw)

      1.) Yes, in an ultimate sense God is *responsible* for all things. He is absolutely Sovereign over everything that happens.

      2.) Specifically what *evil* are your referring to? Conceptually, there is no such thing as *evil* in a worldview that does not contain God. What what sack of molecules does to another sack of molecules should make no difference to you whatsoever.

      3.) There is a huge difference between asserting the existence of a dragon in one’s garage and the Christian worldview. If you can assert the existence of a dragon that provides a basis for your epistemology, ethics, and metaphysical precommitments I would sure like to see it. Anyone can say anything they like-having a coherent worldview based on those beliefs is a different matter all together.

      4) This is an epistemological claim that you can’t substantiate. The universal negation “he does not exist” goes is a groundless assertion that cannot be demonstrated.

      5.) Another assertion. Please demonstrate the contradictions of which you speak,

      6) Agreed. Evidentialism is flawed; however there is more than superficial evidence that Jesus existed historically. Can you name one reputable scholar that takes this position?

  3. Steve Simms says:

    Thanks for reading my ideas and making a thoughtful comment, Humanist Action Hero.

    An all powerful being (be that God or a dictator who thinks he is all powerful) can not have meaningful relationships with people who are dominated by him. If we don’t allow people some freedom in our relationships with us then they are nothing but puppets. Perhaps people really do have the ability to choose their own actions and thoughts. If that is the case, God is not responsible for the way humans use or abuse their ability to choose (including people who try to use His name to justify their evil). So it is unfair PR to blame God for the acts of evil that humans do.

    Sure God could prevent evil, but that would eliminate freedom.

    Many things interact with the world that are non-material and cannot be proven scientifically — justice, conscience, love, freedom, intuition, imagination. If you want proof that God answers prayer, I have seen hundreds of prayer answered in amazing ways that are too incredibly against statistical odds to have happened by coincidence. (A few incredibly amazing things might logically be attributed to coincidence but not hundreds.)

    Many people who are enjoying living contrary to the way of Christ, actually believe that He is God and that He exists. Some people are mad at Jesus. So how can you be mad as someone you don’t believe exists. No normal adult gets mad at and rants about Santa Claus.

    Religious people constantly contradict each other and themselves. However, when you surrender to Christ and begin to follow and obey Him, you will find Him to be amazingly consistent.

    There is much historical evidence that Jesus lived — the eye witness testimony of several of His early followers and also He is mentioned in several documents of the time period.

    However, all of this is not enough to convince me to follow Jesus. I was an agnostic until I personally encountered the living, resurrected Jesus and began to follow Him. That was 41 years ago and He continues to prove Himself to me by many amazing actions and signs almost daily.

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  5. David Harper says:

    Steve, wonderful post… thanks for writing it. And to the naysayers I am another answered prayer and changed live because of the work of the living Jesus Christ. I’m not perfect, I have my faults but I now know that Jesus is real, he cares, and is ever present to the voice that calls out his name. Why don’t you try it sometime and ask Jesus to reveal himself to you on a very personal level,

  6. Steve Simms says:

    Thanks, David! When Christ is vitally active in your heart and life, you just can’t keep quiet about Him. It’s like single-handedly trying to hold a giant beach ball underwater.

  7. Scott says:

    You wrote that one reason for rejecting Jesus is: “5) I am not intellectually convinced that Jesus is who He is claimed to be.”

    You also wrote that: “Number 5 is to put understanding and reasoning above truth. For example, it is like saying, because I don’t intellectually understand the concept electricity I refuse to use it in my home.”

    You have presented a logical fallacy, which is in contradiction with your premise regarding legitimate reasons to reject Jesus for that which he is claimed to be … supernatural.

    The fallacy of Begging the Question (or petitio principii, “assuming the initial point”) is a type of logical fallacy in which the proposition to be proven is assumed implicitly or explicitly in the premise

    You explicitly claim the story of Jesus and the stories of his virgin birth, his sinless nature, the miracles, his death and resurrection and so forth to be true and therefore beg the question raised in point number 5, which is essentially whether the biblical account of Jesus passes intellectual muster.

    .Truth is not in contrast or competition with understanding and reasoning. Logic and reasoning are supporters of truth and there is no reason to believe a proposed “fact” if it flies in the face of logic. Thus, understanding and reason are indeed “above truth.”

    The story of Jesus is based upon various writing found in the New Testament of the Bible. Therefore, the truthfulness of the story is dependent upon a rational belief that the writers of the stories were accurate in their recitation of the facts surrounding the events.

    Rather than contest the logic of a virgin birth (which we now know could occur in ways other than intercourse) or a resurrection from three days death (which could not occur based upon our current scientific understanding), another question to ask would be “How would they know?”

    How would the writers of the gospels (beginning some 30 years after Jesus’ death) know that Mary was a virgin? How would they know that Jesus arose from the dead? For that matter, how would they know what Jesus prayed in the Garden of Gethsemane, or what the Devil said to Jesus during his stay in the wilderness?

    The answer, of course, is that they could not. All they could know was what someone else told them. And for the most part, any story the writers may have heard would have come from someone else who heard the story from someone else.

    In that day, stories were told from campfire to campfire, from village to village. Is it more logical to believe that such miraculous events as a virgin birth or death and resurrection occurred in defiance of scientific knowledge (e.g. supernaturally) or that as stories were told around these campfires, the stories were modified and enhanced to comport with known scriptural prophesies and to support the growing clandestine Christian movement?

    I think the latter is much more probable.

    There’s a reason hearsay is not allowed in a court of law, and that’s because hearsay is inherently unreliable, absent few exceptions not applicable here. And when hearsay defies logic, as with the story of Jesus, then it’s perfectly rational to choose not to believe it.

    How you and your life have been impacted by your spiritual beliefs is a matter only you can know. Encouraging others to experience the same by the same methods is perfectly rational.

    However, no matter how strongly you hold your beliefs, you cannot create truth.

    Is it true that Mary was a virgin when she bore Jesus? Perhaps. Is it true that Jesus rose from the dead? Again, perhaps. Is it logical or rational to believe it to be so, based upon the evidence. I would say not.

    And that, my friend, is a good reason to reject Jesus.

    • Steve Simms says:

      Thank you, Scott, for your comment. I enjoy thinking things through and your comment helped get my brain rolling this morning. I’ve tried to follow your point about “begging the question” but I have to confess that I don’t understand it.

      By the way, I consider reasons 1–6 not to be legitimate reasons to reject Christ. The last reason is the one I consider to be legitimate — actually trying the claims of Christ in your life and if they don’t work, then rejecting them.

      As far as number 5, I was trying to make the point that we all act on and believe things that we can’t explain intellectually, like how light is a wave and a particle (or is it?) — we don’t understand light and how it works, but we use it and are glad to have it. So if we can’t fully explain or prove a supernatural claim, that doesn’t mean it isn’t true. Sorry if I violated a principle of logic.

      You ask how people would know about the virgin birth and other claims about Christ. And then you say that the Gospels were written 30 years after Jesus’ death, as if that would discount their credibility. (Many history books have been written hundreds and even thousands of years after the events they describe, but we believe they are credible.)

      The Gospels claim to be written by eyewitness and by people who interviewed eyewitnesses. At least two of the writers knew Mary and talked with her and got her birth claim first hand, maybe even around a campfire. Those two writers saw Jesus alive from the dead. Paul of Tarsus says that 500 people at once saw Him (500 folks experiencing something at the same time is definitely much more than hearsay).

      I believe, not only the Gospels, but the entire New Testament was written before 70 AD. Here’s why. The Roman army destroyed Jerusalem in 70 AD and leveled the Jewish Temple. (Jesus had predicted this). Other than Jesus’ prediction, the destruction of Jerusalem is not mentioned by any New Testament writer. That would be as if Washington DC (the most important city to our nation) was completely leveled in WWII — any book about the United States that didn’t mention that would have had to have been written before the city was destroyed. The Jewish writers of the New Testament could not have ignored such a thing. Several NT books mention that the temple is still standing. That’s why we can early date them.

      Anyway, none of this is for me enough to prove the claims of Christ. There is proof though. It is not historical or scientific but we all use this type of proof. We can’t scientifically prove human consciousness, but we all believe in it. Why? The proof of human consciousness is in us — we personally experience it. Same with Christ. If you will personally pursue His claims with an open mind and heart, you will experience Him in ways that will amaze you. Untold millions of people have, including me.

      Thanks for this cyber interaction. All the best to you, Scott.

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